Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - India ‘doctor’ conman married 18 women, put behind bars

India ‘doctor’ conman married 18 women, put behind bars

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Bibhu Prakash Swain (not pictured) allegedly married and conned at least 18 women across India before his arrest – weeks before his next two weddings. AFP

India ‘doctor’ conman married 18 women, put behind bars

Bibhu Prakash Swain believed in soulmates and true love, or so he told at least 18 women he allegedly married and conned across India before his arrest – weeks before his next two weddings.

The diminutive 67-year-old scoured marriage websites posing as a 51-year-old doctor and persuaded professors, lawyers, medics and a paramilitary officer all over the country to tie the knot, police said.

In status-conscious India he claimed he was on a chunky salary, and used fake identification cards and appointment letters to bolster his credentials and family background.

“He primarily did this for their money, and some sexual pleasure,” senior police official Sanjiv Satpathy said.

Satpathy’s team arrested Swain in recent days after months on his trail, discovering his multiple identities, bank accounts and plans for two weddings in February and March.

“He was always very persuasive,” Satpathy said, “and only targeted successful single, widowed or divorced women in their late 40s.”

A few “happy and satisfying days into the marriage”, the police said, Swain used to make excuses to borrow his new wives’ money or jewellery to help him with an emergency.

He then moved on to his next target, hoping that the women’s circumstances – as a single, widowed or divorced woman who had remarried in a conservative society – would scare them off going to the police.

Investigators believe Swain married more than 18 times and are now going through his mobile phone records where he saved his wives’ contacts – as Madam Delhi, Madam Assam or Madam UP (Uttar Pradesh) – named after the places in India where they stayed.

Angry and cheated

Police launched a probe into Swain’s multiple lives in May 2021 after a complaint by one 48-year-old wife who, by chance, discovered that he was already married to at least seven other women.

The victim, feeling angry and cheated, police say, “quietly retrieved” the contact details of his other wives from his phone and contacted them individually about their shared predicament.

“This is when we came in and made discoveries about his long history of cheating, impersonation and deceit,” Satpathy said.

Swain, born in a small village in the eastern state of Odisha, first married in 1978 and has three children – two of them doctors and one a dentist – with his first wife.

Trained as a lab technician, he fell out with his family and moved to the state capital Bhubaneshwar where he started introducing himself as a doctor and ultimately married a doctor, his second wife, in 2002.

“He has since used multiple names but always introduced himself as doctor or a professor while looking for wives online,” Satpathy said.

The police doubt his ruses were a one-man job and are looking for people who helped him with his elaborate setups and moved his money from one place to another.

The Hindustan Times newspaper described him as “no Don Juan”, saying he stood just 1.6m tall, and reported that he married at least 27 women in 10 states.

For good measure he also allegedly defrauded 13 banks out of 10 million rupees ($135,000) with 128 forged credit cards, and ran a chain of medical labs where doctors and other staff went for months without pay, the paper said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and